France 1644-& 1/4 ecu

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Jean Elsen sale 145, lot 1106
This specimen was lot 1106 in Jean Elsen sale 145 (Brussels, September 2020), where it sold for €320 (about US$456 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"FRANCE, Royaume, Louis XIV (1643-1715), AR quart d'écu, 1644&, Aix-en-Provence. 2e type à la croix fleuronnée, avec titulature autour de l'écu. D/ Ecu de France couronné, entre II-II. R/ Croix formée de fleurons en forme de tulipes. Très rare Petit défaut de flan et griffe au revers. Très Beau. Provient de Monnaies 33, 6 décembre 2007, 1163. (kingdom of France, Louis XIV, 1643-1715, silver quarter écu of 1644, Aix mint, second type, with the king's name on the shield side. Obverse: floriate cross; reverse: crowned arms of France divide "II-II". Very rare, planchet defect and reverse scratch, Very Fine.)"
This is among the last hammered coins struck in France. After production of the franc d'argent was suspended in 1586, this was the largest silver coin regularly struck in France prior to the introduction of milled coinage in the 1640's. The milled quart d'écu à la meche courte (Dr/4 no. 645A), struck the same year at Paris and Lyon, was only 6.86 g. Under Henry III, the hammered quart d'écu had a face value of fifteen sols tournois, by 1645, its value had risen to 21 sols tournois. This variety, unique to the Aix mint, has the arms of the cross terminated with tulips rather than fleurs-de-lys used at other mints. The king's name is found at the bottom of the shield side; other mints located the king's name at the top or on the cross side.

Recorded mintage: unknown but scarce.

Specification: 9.71 g, .917 fine silver, 30-31 mm diameter, plain edge, engraved by Richard Lamy, this specimen 9,43 g.

Catalog reference: Dr/4 no. 431, Dr/2 no. 286, Dupl-1453; Gad-136b; L4L 138.

Source:

  • [2]Droulers, Frédéric, Répertoire General des Monnaies de Louis XIII à Louis XVI (1610-1792), 2nd édition. Paris: AFPN, 1998.
  • Duplessy, Jean, Les Monnaies Françaises Royales de Hugues Capet à Louis XVI (987-1793), Tome II, 2e édition, Paris: Maison Platt, 1999.
  • Gadoury, Victor, Monnaies Royales Françaises, 1610-1792, 4me éd., Monaco: Éditions Victor Gadoury, 2012.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • [1]Elsen, Philippe, et al., Vente Publique 145, Brussels: Jean Elsen et ses Fils S.A., 2020.

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